More greens in Green Guide

I was glad to pick up a copy of your Green Halifax guide last week, and happier still to see your article in this week's Coast ("Green Revisions," April 24) about alterations to it, mentioning that the 2009 version may include vegetarian organizations. While the guide's food sections cover local, organic and fair trade options, plant-based eating is conspicuously absent.

Vegetarianism is an environmental and political statement. As well-respected organizations and dieticians attest, ending meat consumption is the most important step in preserving the environment. The average meat-eater needs 20 times more land per year than a vegan.

Logic, more than statistics, shows a meat-based diet is environmentally inefficient. When you feed food to your food, more resources are consumed and more steps taken. Meat and dairy production waste energy and water, and the amount of greenhouse gases produced by animal excrement is giant.

Is buying local, organic animal products any better? While environmental impact is obviously less, it is still a hugely inefficient food source, and not necessary. Compare buying local, organic meat to driving an SUV only twice a week; it helps, but is still harmful, and easily replaced by greener choices.

Plant-based cuisine is the environmental choice that's most underrepresented on Nova Scotia menus. No one's promoting vegetarian food as being sustainable. With the help of an updated Green Guide, hopefully they soon will.

By Claire Gallant

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